I don't know of anything that can bring a room of people together faster than a sing-along. In the past couple weeks here at Daystar Retirement Village we've had sing-alongs of favorite hymns, favorite folk songs and popular classics. It seems like we have a sing-along just about once a week, and sometimes two or three.
And not every sing-along is scheduled, either. Spontaneous sing-alongs are pretty special, too. When one person starts up with a grateful, “Oh, what a beautiful morning,” it's almost de rigueur for anyone standing nearby to chime in with, “Oh, what a beautiful day.” With any luck you can crowd source the lyrics until you make it through the whole song.
Knowing how popular sing-alongs are here at Daystar Retirement Village, I decided to go online and see what resources are available for people who want to organize their own sing-alongs. Of course you can always work up a Do It Yourself sing-along using a popular songbook or printed lyrics from the Internet with plenty of copies to go around.
But, I also found this great website called Senior Song Fest which allows you to buy sheet music (for piano and guitar), large-print lyrics and digital recordings (of piano and guitar) of more than 30 popular songs. The cost for each song is just $1.
It's hard to make it through the list of songs at Senior Song Fest without stopping to sing a verse or two. “I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover,” “Bill Bailey,” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” caught my eye immediately, but how can you skip over “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue,” or “Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree”? See what I mean? A good sing-along is contagious.
When it comes to sing-alongs, you can't go wrong with wonderful old songs from the 30s and 40s, or even older, but more and more of our residents are starting to say bring on the Beatles (“Hey Jude,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Let It Be,” or a hundred other songs); John Denver (“Take Me Home, Country Road,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane”); and Simon and Garfunkle (“The Boxer,” “Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), to name just a few.
Every once in awhile a new song comes along that we can't help but love. The other day I saw this great video of residents and staff at a retirement community in Christchurch, New Zealand, doing a lip-dub to Pharrell Williams' “Happy.” Technically this is a lip-dub, not a sing-along, but it captures the energy and enthusiasm at the heart of our facility and I couldn't help but share it.
Clap along if you like, and if you're looking for a great group of people to sing along with, check us out at Daystar Retirement Community.